U.S. corporate media outlets have granted Israeli military commanders pre-publication review rights for “all materials and footage” recorded by their correspondents embedded with the Israel Defense Forces during the invasion of Gaza, a precondition condemned by press freedom advocates.
“Journalists embedded with the IDF in Gaza operate under the observation of Israeli commanders in the field, and are not permitted to move unaccompanied within the Gaza Strip,” Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN‘s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” explained in a segment on Sunday.
Within a week of the 7 October atrocities, numerous Israeli Defence Force (IDF) units had converged on southern Israel close to Gaza. A major ground offensive was expected to start within days but the actual deployments into Gaza have not so far been substantial.
Possible factors in the delays included US president Joe Biden’s unexpected visit to Israel, negotiations with Hamas on hostage releases, and an announcement from the Pentagon that additional US air defence systems will be sent to the region. These are not specifically for Israel’s use but are primarily to offer additional protection to US personnel in bases in Iraq, Syria, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Drone and rocket attacks against some US bases have increased in the past two weeks, especially in Iraq, and many more are expected when the IDF starts a ground assault.
The large-scale demonstration in the U.K. occurred as paltry levels of humanitarian aide were finally allowed through the southern border of Gaza, but nowhere near enough given the scale of death and destruction.
Organizers and participants said hundreds of thousands of people were in the streets of central London on Saturday to demand an immediate cease-fire in Gaza as the Israeli military continued its bombardment of the besieged enclave a full two weeks after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.
Organized by a coalition that includes the Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the march also called for Israel to “end its occupation of Palestinian land and apartheid rule over the Palestinian people.”
The Republican chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday said his panel is drafting legislation to authorize the use of military force in Iran amid growing fears that ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza could set off a broader regional conflagration.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told CNN that his committee is preparing the bill “in the event it’s necessary” for the U.S. military to become directly involved in another Middle East war. McCaul’s comments came on the 21st anniversary of the enactment of a measure that authorized the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
After the devastating failure of the Israeli intelligence to foresee the sudden Hamas assault at the weekend, many Israelis are describing the huge loss of lives as ‘Israel’s 9/11’.
Although the two events cannot be fairly compared, given the attack on Israel came from a country it has occupied and inflicted a deadly and brutal regime of apartheid on for many decades, the assault by Hamas has had a similarly visceral impact.
NATO really is on a roll thanks to Vladimir Putin, but even as its immediate prospects look good, the whole future of the alliance should be open to question.
For now, as Finland and Sweden join, Putin finds an enlarged alliance ranged against him. NATO’s reputation is so bound up with the fate of Ukraine that, in the unlikely event that Russia makes substantial military gains in the conflict, Kyiv cannot be allowed to lose. From Putin’s perspective, his warning early last year of the threat posed to Russia from NATO has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This does at least mean he can claim ‘I told you so’ – which is helping maintain some domestic support.
In the space of a week, three very different events have occurred that have done much to shape the future of the war in Ukraine. One is the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring war crimes charges against Vladimir Putin; the second is the three-day visit of China’s president Xi Jingping to Moscow; and the third is the 20th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War and the end of the Saddam Hussein regime. All three are set against a background of a bitter and devastating war in Ukraine that could well continue for many months or even years.
As to the war itself, Western states – and especially the United States – continue to provide a wide range of weapons and materiel, certainly enough to make it difficult to envisage a Russian victory. Yet the degree of Western support isn’t sufficient to allow Ukraine to force the Russian military out of eastern Ukraine, still less Crimea. While Ukrainian military forces are bearing the brunt of the war, they are simply not getting sufficient military supplies to put them in a winning position. The whole pace of the war continues to be dictated by Washington. Continue reading →
n the past few weeks, Russian forces in Ukraine have been attempting to take territory in intensive combat, but their progress has been minimal. This is adding to the sense that Russia is in difficulty and Ukraine is making progress in winning the war, with considerable support from the United States.
In its determination to consolidate this apparent advantage, Washington is warning forcefully of the actions it will take to counter countries willing to aid Russia. The G7 has also recently announced specific actions against some 200 companies and individuals across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, with part of the aim being to discourage those that have not yet been involved in sanctions-busting but are in a position to do so. Continue reading →
While it has long been blatantly obvious that the global economic model is not working for all, the rate of accumulation of wealth by a small minority is now breathtaking – if not totally obscene.
With the situation only being worsened by the economic impact of the Ukraine War – which has come on top of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic – could we be headed for mass revolts sparked by a desperate need for change? Continue reading →